(stars out of 5)
Still Got The Blues is the side project of Redhill guitarist and vocalist, John Evans. Redhill have been performing on and off since 1993, but since the band took a break in 2010, Evans decided to work on some new solo material, with the result being Still Got The Blues.
Joining Evans on Still Got The Blues are numerous friends and musicians, including fellow Redhill members Alan and Linda Thompson. The entire album was written and produced solely by Evans, and features more experimental ventures into sampling than on his previous solo release Life on a Hawaiian Beach.
Opening with the folk-tinged “Life Less Travelled” we are introduced to Evans’ strong and impassioned delivery. It’s an interesting choice to open the album as you would typically expect to open with a more upbeat track, but “Life Less Travelled” does the job well – it’s a song full of emotion and shows Evans’ voice at its best. Linda Thompson’s vocals can be heard throughout Still Got The Blues and her harmonies add a sweetness and different shade to Evans, particularly on “Blue,” “Still Got The Blues For You” and “Fisherman’s Daughter.”
“Coming Home” is one of Still Got The Blues’ standout tracks. A driving rhythm, some excellent percussion work (courtesy of Jan Back) and a catchy melody make it one of the most memorable tracks.
The title track “Still Got The Blues For You” puts Thompson’s vocals in the spotlight alongside Evans’ and it’s a great choice. Their voices complement each other very well, and you can tell that they’ve been collaborating and working together for years.
The tail end of the album is where things get shaken up, and the direction changes – “Tranquility” is perhaps the most interesting offer on the album, combining the organic instrumentation with electronic sampling. It shows Evans’ creative side in a different light, and hints at other directions that he could take his music in, should he choose to.
“Move Dancer” is also very interesting, and draws some comparisons to The Killers or Bastille. It’s a complete contrast from the material from earlier on the album which is more folky, and more organic – however Evans has proven that he can deliver both more traditional sounding tracks and more experimental electronic, synth-laden tracks. It is this contrast that makes Still Got The Blues a really interesting listen.